Being ready to use the potty can be an exciting developmental milestone and yet a challenging time in your child’s life. There is no set age to begin toilet training, but children are usually ready between 18 to 36 months. Be attuned to your child’s cues so that you can be aware of when it is appropriate for him or her to begin. Observe if he can now follow simple instructions, help undress himself, or be able to vocalize or express non-verbal cues (e.g., facial or movement) when he needs to use the toilet. Remember that your child must also be emotionally ready, so it’s important to be patient and encouraging. If she keeps resisting, give her more time and continue to stay positive and reassuring as you help her through this process.
Below are fun and helpful tips to help your child transition from diapers to the potty:
My very own potty: If possible, take your child to the store with you to choose and purchase the potty together. When you get home, introduce your child to his very own potty, making sure he feels comfortable with it. Help him personalize it by decorating the lid with his name, stickers, or colored markers. Point to and label the various parts of the potty, such as the seat and the flusher, and show your child how the potty works. Also, have your child sit on the potty a few times with his pants on to assure him that he will not fall in. To make him feel even more comfortable during this time, you can read him a book about using the potty.
Uh-oh… Gotta Go: Help your child listen to her body and recognize the feeling she gets right before she has to go to the bathroom. Whenever she gets that feeling, emphasize that she should stop doing whatever she is doing and say, “Uh-oh… Gotta go!” To comfort and ease the pressure when your child is waiting on the potty, you could place a basket of her favorite books or toys next to the potty. You may want to have a specific book that you and your child only read when using the potty. You can also sing fun songs with her such as Elmo’s Potty Time song or make up your own potty time songs. Remember accidents will happen and that’s okay. Praise your child for even the small accomplishments, such as recognizing the feeling that she has to go.
Wipe, flush, and wash: Keep a potty routine as your child is getting started. Help him learn and follow the steps of using the potty. Be in company with your child while he is on the potty and keep the bathroom door open if the child is in it alone so the child can see you all the time. Remind him that after going, he must wash with water, wipe with toilet paper – but only a little bit of it would be fine. Then he must flush. Many children may feel scared by the noise. You may remind him of the noise before pushing the flusher. He can help you press the flusher down and then over time, encourage him to press the flusher on his/her own. Finally, after using or even touching the potty, make sure you tell him not to forget to wash his/her hands with soap and water for at least 15-20 seconds. Or, you can count with him in the meantime.
Keep Trying: Never scold or punish your child while she is learning to use her potty. All children have accidents, so remember to stay patient and use gentle reminders to encourage success. Help your child regain confidence by saying, “That’s okay! You just don’t have it down YET. Next time, you’ll remember to use your potty!” The most important thing is for your child to feel proud of herself and keep trying.
Great Job: Cheerfully praise your child not only for succeeding but also for trying. Continue to reward him with hugs and encouraging words. After a couple of successful tries, you can even get him excited and motivated by going to buy big kid underpants. Let your child know you support him as he learns. Also, have your child keep track of his own progress! He can place reward stickers to decorate a blank notebook or a poster chart. Keep this near the potty. Each time he successfully goes, he can place it in his notebook or on the chart himself. Let your child know just how proud you are of his big accomplishment!#toilettraining #pottytime #physicaldevelopment #parentingtips